Many traditions like this were initiated by government officials in the 1930's-60's who really did not understand the basis for their own government and Christmas was becoming commercialized. Lets face it. It's a Christmas tree AND a Hol(i)(y)-Day Tree, but it is NOT a Pagan Tree, or a Winter Solstice Tree or an Atheist Tree, or a Jewish Tree or a Suni Tree. Call it what it is and then get rid of it.
Right on the money! It's kind of like if city hall put up a giant "holiday" menorah. How many other traditions would feel enfranchised by that?
I honestly don't care if it is called a Christmas Tree or not. I'm sure that a lot of Christians are extremely pissed off by this, and they might be justified in being pissed off, but I just wish that they would stop saying that Christians, Christianity, Jesus Christ, or whatever else are being Persecuted, when they are not.
Not wanting to have a Nativity Scene or the Ten Commandments in front of a courthouse, not having Creationism taught in schools as an alternative to the Theory of Evolution, or not wanting to be a part of a public prayer is not persecution. It is merely upholding what the Constitution says about Separation of Church and State.
Christians have their Holy Bible and their Churches where they can have Sunday School and Worship Jesus Christ and God whenever and for however long they'd like. Those things are not being taken away from them. But why must they also infiltrate our schools and force their theology in every possible place they can fit it. Why must they insist on making their beliefs a public spectacle.
Normally, I hear atheists say that there should be equal representation in Christmas displays by all religions and atheists or no display at all.
This isn't quite true. The atheists wanted religious displays removed. The equal representation aspect is a product of jurisprudence. The courts issued an 'all or nothing' ruling, whereby a city must permit anyone to put up such a display, or disallow anyone from doing it. So Atheists started posting signs:
By I don't know what to think about "dereligionizing" an icon that is typically associated with Christianity in America.
Thousands of years before it was called Christmas, it was simply known as the winter solstice. Pagans and worshipers of sun deities acknowledged this celestial event in late December. The Roman festival of Sol Invictus (the unconquered sun) was held on December 25. Take a look at this thread for more information (a great deal more) on the ancient and decidedly non-Christian origin of winter festivals and traditions, including the evergreen tree.
Well, in general, it's a fir.
Despite having been an atheist all my life, I have always known it to be a Christmas tree. If you were to put up an assortment of pictures like a ball, bicycle, teddy bear, drum and a Christmas tree and show it to most people in the world, they'd probably call it a Christmas tree. Probably smiling when they say it because it seems to symbolize happiness and content. Albeit in a strange and peculiar way.
I have known no other atheists until I met people online, and it's always kind of puzzled me why.
All this aside, I think all religions have a right to celebrate their beliefs without imposing upon others. This said, I don't feel that calling it a Christmas tree is "imposing" on me in any way. I am in a way against calling it a holiday tree because I've known it as nothing else. I'm not very educated when it comes to the religious side of things, except what I personally saw growing up.
In that light I want to but cannot refer to the menorah like the educated, but I know it's all tied in there somehow. No need for anyone to explain it to me neither. Now I've kinda lost track of my reply...
Oh yeah. My wife is christian and I still put up a Christmas tree. I even make a little snow village on our little coffee table, with the nativity scene and the children playing. Little shops and church. For me it's more for the kids and to allow them to experience the season as everyone around them does. I don't want to tamper with that side of life for them. They know I don't believe the stories. And I'm sure they will be at the very least skeptical from my efforts.
I hope I didn't get too far away from topic anywhere.
This is one of those things that I really wish that people would just lighten up about. It's a friggin tree what it's called has absolutely no real world effect on anyone's life. That it's being displayed has no real world effect on anyone's life.
A Festivus Tree?
Heretic! It's a Festivus pole. I'm fine with putting them on public land. But only if they're made of aluminum. Aluminum has a very high strength-to-weight ratio.
Your link takes me to this:-
The internet analog of buyer's remorse, wherein one comes to regret having clicked on a link of interest after they look up at the clock minutes or hours later and realize that they have invested an inordinate amount of time reading an article, playing a game, conversing with someone, looking at photos, etc. which they would not have spent had they resisted the impulse to "check it out"...
I did put 'festivus' in the search criteria and found what I believe you meant to link to, but I thought this was too funny not to share... :)
Oh Blaine, you really didn't need to delete! I thought it was wonderful irony, but I also did check out the site - what a fun resource!